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Reuters reported yesterday that federal authorities have told the lawyers representing traders implicated in the LIBOR rigging scandal that they are getting ready to make arrests.According to that report, investigators have a clear picture of how traders attempted to influence one of the world’s most important financial benchmarks, which affects everything from the interest paid on credit card debt and mortgages to complex financial derivatives.
It is unclear how investigators will decide to prosecute these traders. Those involved with rigging LIBOR for personal gain before the financial crisis so far have appeared to have more selfish motives than those who distorted rates during the financial crisis, potentially with the approval of their superiors.
During the financial crisis, traders believed that markets were prejudiced against firms that reported their true cost of lending, leading most banks to submit data that dragged down the overall LIBOR rate.